Review: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
No of Pages: 170
Release Date: 2 September 2008
The thing is, you can get used to anything. You think you can’t, you want to die, but you don’t. You won’t. You just are.
This is Alice.
She was taken by Ray five years ago.
She thought she knew how her story would end.
She was wrong.
I expected Living Dead Girl to horrify me, sicken me and make me feel all sorts of thing for this poor stolen little girl. But I didn’t.
Alice wasn’t always called Alice. There was a time when she was part of a family, had friends and a future. But when Ray kidnapped her from a school trip when she was ten, everything changed.
While being in a traumatic situation, Alice is not likeable or even relatable as a character. I wanted to feel sorry for her and I did at times when she was starving or being abused but it wasn’t enough to make me feel anything more than a passing thought of something being mildly wrong. It may have been the writing or it may have been Alice or it might just be me, but there were times when I couldn’t feel sorry for her.
Alice wished her situation on other little girls in hope of freeing herself. She was supposedly broken and yet she could still fight back in her small ways. Stealing food and coming up with escape plans. She hated herself so much and yet she still wanted this done to a child in hopes of her dying or being free, it made me really dislike her as a character but it also made me feel like she was contradicting herself. She talks about how she used to be selfish and yet she still is. She talks about how shes given up and yet she still fights. She talks about how bad it is to live like this and yet she wants it done to someone else.
Ray threatens Alice with killing her parents if she ever tries to leave him. Beats her if she doesn’t comply with his wishes and starves her so that she will only ever way one hundred pounds or less. He makes her feel bad for growing up and beats her whenever he feels like it. He rapes her because he can and because he thinks he loves her and he makes her tell him all the time about how she will always be his little girl. Ray is a despicable person, and yet I don’t hate him. He just wasn’t around enough for me to hate him. Everything he did to Alice was diluted by constant repetition or complete glossing over of details.
Living Dead Girl sounds fantastic in theory but the writing takes a lot away from it. The short chapters and fragmented sentences don’t drive points home like they are meant to. Too many details are glossed over in the treatment of Alice to the point where there is almost nothing to visualise and the constant repetition of how each day was the same became tedious.
I was expecting a lot more from Living Dead Girl than what I got. I read it in a couple of hours but it didn’t affect me in anyway.